The pond doctor

Mary-Anne Markle

Mary-Anne Markle

Muskrat Proofing Your Fountain:
How to get rid of muskrats in ponds

If you have a fountain or other water feature in your yard, you may have dealt with Muskrats. These creatures can be quite destructive and can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. This blog post will discuss multiple strategies to get rid of and remove muskrats in ponds and lakes. We will cover everything from potential risks to your fountain and how to avoid them to the best methods to deter Muskrats once they have already taken up residence. Follow these tips, and you will be Muskrat-free in no time!

Muskrats are rodents that are closely related to voles lemmings. They are found throughout North America and can grow up to two feet long. These pests are excellent swimmers and can hold their breath for 15 minutes.

The perfect environment for Muskrats & Other Rodents

Muskrats live near a water source as they are aquatic creatures. These can be ponds, lakes, rivers, or even small puddles. They also need access to vegetation, as this is their main sustenance. Muskrats are found in many different climates worldwide, but they prefer cooler temperatures. In North America, they are most commonly found in the northern United States and southern Canada. If you have a water feature on your property, Muskrats will find it eventually.

Muskrats love to eat pond weeds and water lilies, and they prefer to hang out around the water. If you have a lot of pond weeds and water lilies in your pond, you are more likely to have Muskrats. You can limit the weed growth mechanically or use a herbicide. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter, as you don’t want to harm the fish or other wildlife in your pond.

Muskrat damage to ponds and lakes

Muskrats are like beavers; they are known for their destructive behaviour. They eat large amounts of vegetation, which can uproot aquatic plants and damage the ecosystem. These pests also build dams, which can cause flooding and erosion. In addition, their burrowing can cause levees to collapse. All of this damage can have a serious impact on the quality of your water or your property.

Signs of Muskrats

Damaged Vegetation

Muskrats or beavers are likely responsible if you see damaged vegetation around your pond or water feature. Muskrats eat a lot of plants, and their burrowing can also damage them. If you are seeing a lot of damage, it is a sign that you have a Muskrat or beaver problem. Muskrats will sometimes uproot plants to get at the roots. This can damage the plant and make it more difficult to grow back. If you see uprooted plants, it is a sure sign that Muskrats are present.

Small Fish Population Decrease

Minnows and other small fish are a favourite snack of Muskrats. Muskrats are likely responsible if you are seeing a decline in the population of small fish in your pond.

Muskrat droppings

Muskrats leave droppings in their burrows and around their food sources. These droppings are small, dark, and tubular. If you see Muskrat droppings, it is a sign that Muskrats are present.

Muskrat Risk to your Fountain

Muskrats are rodents, and like all rodents, they have incisors that grow continuously. To keep their teeth at a manageable length, they must gnaw on things. Unfortunately, this means that Muskrats can do a lot of damage to your fountain or other water feature. They will chew on the electrical wires, causing a short circuit. They will also eat the rubber seals and gaskets, leading to leaks. Over the years, Pond Perfections customers have reported damage to their electrical cords by muskrats, and repair services have been performed to rejoin the cables.  

Preventing Muskrat Damage to your Fountain

The best way to prevent Muskrat or beaver damage is to make sure they don’t have access to your fountain in the first place. This can be done by:

  • Keeping your fountain clean and free of debris
  • Trimming back vegetation around your pond

Solutions to a Muskrat Problem

The first step in getting muskrat removal is figuring out how they get into the ponds. This can be done by doing a perimeter check and looking for holes or burrows. Once you have found the entry point, you will need to block it. There are a few different ways that you can get rid of Muskrats. 

Muskrat Removal
and Trapping

If you have Muskrats on your property, the best way to get rid of them is to trap and remove them. We recommend hiring a professional Trapper to get rid of muskrats from your pond.

Repellents

There are a few different Muskrat repellents on the market. These repellents use either sound or scent to keep Muskrat away. Some common repellents include cayenne pepper and garlic pepper. The best way to use a repellent is to place it around the perimeter of your property.

Habitat Modification

One of the best natural ways to deter Muskrats is to modify their habitat. This can be done in several ways, but the most common is to remove aquatic vegetation. If Muskrats don’t have access to the food supply, they will move to another area. You can also raise the water level in your pond or lake. This will make it harder for Muskrats to get to the shore and eventually force them to leave.

Habitat modification is the most effective way to manage the muskrat population. By removing their food source and making it difficult for them to access the water, you will make your property much less appealing to these pests.

Natural Muskrat Repellents

There are a few different ways that you can repel Muskrats. The most common is to use a deterrent. This can be in the form of a physical barrier or a chemical agent.

Household Items

There are a few household items that Muskrats dislike. These include:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper

You can use these household items to create a natural Muskrat repellent. Simply add a few drops of each item to a cup of water and spray it around the perimeter of your property.

Natural Predators

Another method to get rid of Muskrats is introducing their natural predators into your pond or lake. Common Muskrat predators include coyotes, foxes, owls, and raccoons. If you live in an area where these animals are common, they will likely take care of the Muskrat problem for you. Dogs are also a great way to keep these animals away. Their barking will scare Muskrats, and their presence will make your property less appealing to them

Fox Urine or Coyote Urine (Predator Urine)

One of the most effective Muskrat repellents is fox urine. Muskrats are very afraid of predators, and the scent will discourage them from entering your property. You can purchase it at most hunting and fishing stores.

Remove Food Supplies

Muskrats are attracted to ponds that have a lot of vegetation. If you want to deter them, you will need to remove their food source. This can be done by mowing your lawn regularly and trimming back any plants growth in and around your pond.

How to protect electrical wires from Muskrats

There are a few different ways to protect your electrical wires from Muskrats. If you have these animals in your pond or lake, it is vital to take action to protect your electrical wires. Pond Perfections prides itself in finding solutions for its customers and created a muskrat proofing wrap, which has been added as a preventative step to all our Olympus fountains. As muskrats usually chew within 4’-5′ of a fountain, this is where the muskrat proofing is placed. 

Since adding muskrat proofing to our fountains, service calls have greatly diminished. Pond Perfections strives to provide long-term, quality, and low maintenance solutions for your pond and is the only company that offers a muskrat-proof wrap for its customers as a standard feature when purchasing a fountain.

We will be happy to help you with any questions on our Muskrat Proof Wrap and add it to any existing fountain.  

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